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Come explore with us

As we celebrate 50 years of caring for clean water

In 1968, a group of seventy residents of Bloomington, Chanhassen, Deephaven, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, and Shorewood came together with a shared passion. They wanted to protect the communities they loved from flooding, manage water quality, and restore natural areas. This group of stewards petitioned the state Board of Water and Soil Resources and a year later on July 31, 1969 the Riley Purgatory Creek Watershed District was formed.

 Protect. Manage. Restore. Over the past 50 Years a lot has changed, but this community ethic has remained a driving force for the watershed district. This truly is your watershed, and we invite you to explore it. In 2019, we’ll be hosting a series of events designed to help you discover something new about the lakes, creeks, and wetlands in your community. We hope you’ll come explore with us as we celebrate 50 years of caring for clean water!

An annotated guide to watershed history

Explore the map below to learn about how the watershed district has evolved through time.

Traveling community art project

A series of four panels celebrating water resources were created by a local artist. The panels will be traveling to events throughout the year. Attendees will have the opportunity to paint these, creating a community art piece. Check back as the panels are revealed!

Coming in August

Coming in September

Upcoming Events

 Hiking (first Fridays starting March)

The first Friday of every month, take a lunch-time hike with watershed staff. Busy? Complete the hikes on your own! more info... 

 Cycling (Sep 28)

Take your bike on a 50 mile ride to celebrate a half-century of watershed history or a family-friendly 8-mile ride along Bluff Creek. More info...

Past Events

 Snowshoeing (Feb 2)

Join us at Lake Ann, where we'll be hosting free snowshoing as a part of the City of Chanhassen's February Festival. more info...

 Boating (June 22)

Our friends at Let's Go Fishing were nice enough to invite us all out for a boat ride on Lake Riley.  more info...

 Wetland Walk (July 31)

Join us to learn about wetlands, what makes them healthy, and the animals and plants that live there. We'll start with a classroom-style introductions, then head out to explore wetlands nearby. more info... 

 Celebrating (Aug 28)

What's a birthday without a little celebration? Gather with us for food, activities and more. More info...


Jr. Watershed Explorerpatch from web.png

Adventure, observe, take notes! Explore your watershed and complete the Jr. Watershed Explorer workbook to earn a badge. Download the workbook, or stop into our office to pick up a copy.
more info...

Photo contestphoto contest camera.png

We want to see the watershed through your eyes. Submit your photos throughout 2019. more info...